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Population up slightly in past year in Douglas County
by Tom Spigolon
tspigolon@neighbornewspapers.com
August 20, 2013 04:25 PM | 1170 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Douglas County added slightly more new residents in the 12-month period ending April 1 than the previous two years but was still far below the annual population increases in the county’s boom years of the last decade, according to new population estimates.

The county added an estimated 800 new residents between April 2012 and April 2013, increasing from 133,900 to 134,700.

The 2010 population was 132,403 – equating to an annual average of 766 between 2010 and 2012, the Atlanta Regional Commission reported last week as part of an annual report on the 10-county region for which it provides planning services and statistics.

“Generally speaking … the more rural counties of Cherokee, Douglas and Henry experienced their booms last decade, while the more urban counties closer to the [city of Atlanta] had their booms during the 1990s,” the report stated.

Douglas County’s population grew by about 4,000 annually between 2000 and 2010 – from 92,174 in 2000 to 132,403 in 2010.

The region added about 40,100 people between April 1, 2012, and April 1, 2013. That growth puts the region’s total population at 4,219,600, a number larger than the populations of 24 states, stated a press release on the report.

The 10-county region includes Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.

While the addition of 40,100 new residents in the 10-county region is considerably lower than the annual growth experienced in the 1990s and early 2000s, it is slightly higher than the growth experienced during the previous year.

It is also higher than the average annual growth of 37,283 since the year 2010. The region averaged more than 77,000 new residents each year between 1990 and 2010.

“While our latest population estimates reflect slower growth than we became accustomed to in the ’90s and 2000s, metro Atlanta is still a place that attracts many people,” said Doug Hooker, ARC executive director. “Our local jurisdictions have had a few years to catch their collective breaths and are preparing for faster growth that will come as the housing market and the economy continue to bounce back.”

Single-family building permits are a good indicator of overall population growth or decline, according to the commission report.

Douglas County had a total of 1,915 permits for single-family housing construction in 2005 in the midst of the population boom years. That number dropped to 912 permits in 2007 and 139 in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Since 1980, the 10-county Atlanta region permitted, on average, about 35,000 new residential units each year. In 2012, the region averaged only 11,000, the commission reported.

This slower growth is a national phenomenon, due to the country’s slow recovery from the Great Recession, the release stated.
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